Clifton Park Homes for Sale, Saratoga County Real Estate. Incorpoarting Universal Design into your new Bathroom guarantees access for everyone and saves money in the long run.
This bathroom incorporates several elements of universal design, including a curbless shower, wheelchair-friendly sink, and a hand-held shower. Image: Porcher
Clifton Park Homes for Sale, Saratoga County Real Estate. Incorpoarting Universal Design into your new Bathroom. Universal design features aren't just for the elderly or disabled-the term "universal design" simply means common-sense design that accommodates all users. If you're adding a new bathroom, incorporating universal features ensures that your bath is comfortable, safe, and will adapt to any lifestyle changes.
The cost of universal design isn't prohibitive. In terms of a new 6x8-foot bathroom, you'll pay an additional $1,000 to $2,500 for universal design features.
Deciding to add universal design
Clifton Park Homes for Sale, Saratoga County Real Estate. Incorpoarting Universal Design into your new Bathroom. As smart as universal design is, it can be a tough sell. Ninety-five percent of home builders report that buyers aged 55 or older can be resistant to purchasing a home with universal design features, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). That's interesting when you consider that two-thirds of those buyers also say they plan to stay in their own homes after retirement.
There are two reasons for this disconnect, says remodeler Dan Bawden of Houston, founder of the NAHB's Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program. First, buyers don't like to face the prospect of getting older. Second, there's the notion that a universal design bathroom will look institutional, like a hospital facility.
Los Angeles bathroom designer Sarah Barnard battles both these misperceptions frequently. "No one ever asks me for universal design features up front," Barnard says, "but I recommend them to every single person I consult, even if they're 25 years old.
Clifton Park Homes for Sale, Saratoga County Real Estate. Incorpoarting Universal Design into your new Bathroom. "It's funny-the closer people are to retirement, the less they want universal design. They say, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I tell them, even if you're perfectly healthy and able-bodied right now, if you have an accident or develop a health problem, the last thing you're going to want to deal with is a three-month remodeling project to retrofit your bathroom."
Most important, contemporary universal design features are aesthetically pleasing, even hip. "A bathroom with universal design does not have to be ugly!" Barnard says. "In fact, a well-designed accessible space can be spa-like and luxurious. There are attractive high-end finishes out there, such as luxurious grab bars with beaded escutcheons. They're not like the grab bars in public restrooms."
If you're thinking about adding universal design features, consider consulting a Custom Home Builder / Remodeler.